“New state governors borrow N226.8 billion in first six months”

New data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) disclosed that within the first six months of assuming office, 13 newly inaugurated state governors collectively borrowed a staggering sum of N226.8 billion from domestic and external financiers.

Furthermore, the analysis of the latest sub-national debt reports released by the DMO uncovered that 16 state governors opted to increase the debt profile of their respective states, accumulating a combined sum of N509.3 billion.

This surge in debt comprised N243.95 billion from domestic sources and $298.5 million (equivalent to N265.37 billion based on the exchange rate of N889/$) from external creditors.

The breakdown of the debt statistics delineates the borrowing patterns of the states, with some governors substantially augmenting their state’s debt burden.

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Notable examples include Cross Rivers Governor Bassey Otu, who secured the highest loan amounting to N16.2 billion from domestic creditors and $57.95 million from foreign lenders.

Katsina State followed suit, with its debt skyrocketing by N36.93 billion to reach N99.3 billion by December 2023.

Additionally, the analysis unveils the borrowing activities of other states such as Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory, all of which accumulated significant amounts from domestic sources.

Furthermore, governors of Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara states engaged in foreign borrowing, with the total external debt reaching $125.1 million.

Notably, the surge in borrowing occurred despite a substantial rise in allocations to state governments, with the Federal Account Allocation Committee disbursing the highest sums in at least seven years.

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